Слике страница

ted indirectly, that the land will always bring more than the cost of the improvements and the cultivation expended upon it; but to make out the original proposition, “ that land will not bring as much as it cost to produce,” the Professor has attacked the value of all “ the roads, railways, and canals, the buildings, public and private, the fences, wharves, bridges, and structures of every description, that go to make the State what it is," as though the land itself had been produced by this expenditure of labor, instead of the expenditure having been produced from the land. It would, apparently, be almost as reasonable to expect that the value of a machine for the production of cloth, which had been at work for an extended period, could purchase back the whole of its productions. But the cases are not parallel. However large a quantity the machine had produced, it would only purchase back a certain amount--the necessary cost of its original production, with a deficiency for wear and tear. But the position of the land is different, notwithstanding the assertion of Professor Smith and Mr. Carey to the contrary. The amount of land being limited, the more other capital and wealth is accumulated the larger relative price it will bring in the market; but whether it would purchase the whole of the other capital and wealth of the State, or the world, I am not able to say: neither do I think it important to study that problem.

With regard to Madame de Savigne having arrived at the conclusion that land is not wealth, I think we may give her credit for the possession of common sense, but I presume she did not, like Professor Smith and Mr. Webster, conclude that land was not valuable.

Having now thoroughly examined what the Professor has said in favor of Mr. Carey's theory, I must beg leave to say, with all due deference and respect to all men who are earnestly engaged in the search after truth, that although learned and eminent men in other countries may think it necessary to study Mr. Carey's economical works, I have seen no reason in this discussion, to alter my previously expressed opinion with regard to them, and I hope it will not be deemed presumptuous in me to say, that in my opinion “it is a theory of antagonisms and is crammed with absurdities." . And as Professor Smith has more than once intimated, in this correspondence, that the truth of Mr. Carey's theory is the only tenable ground for "protection” to rest upon, I hope I shall, like Jack Lanton in the “Spy," have the pleasure of welcoming his return to the ranks of freedom (of trade).

R. S.




FREEMAN Hunt, Esq., Editor of the Merchants' Magazine, etc:

DEAR SIR.—The subjoined was written with the intention of sending it to you for the Merchants Magazine. I have been induced to publish it first in the North American by the publication of some opinions which seemed to me erroneous, or unsatisfactory, and of which I hoped to lessen the influence by publishing mine. In your periodical it will have a more permanent and accessible position.

Yours, &c., ROBERT HARE. The price of mercury rose within a quarter of a century to double that which it previously commanded, and as the extrication of silver from its ores in Spanish America has been effected by a process requiring a proportion of this metal to be consumed, the rise in the price of the one could not but augment the price of the other.

Moreover, the anarchical state of Mexico and other argentiferous regions, caused the working of very productive mines to be suspended or abandoned. Meanwhile, the growth of population in countries where silver is used for table service, and as specie, must have caused the demand for this metal to increase.* These circumstances have no doubt raised the market price of silver.

Gold is for the most part extricated by washing, and even so far as mercury is used to extricate this metal, the increase of its price would affect gold as much less, as gold is dearer than silver for equal weight. Then, again, the mercury used to collect gold is recovered by distillation. This is not the case with the mercury used in the Mexican process for silver. In that the mercury is wasted.

I presume I have said enough to show that there is good reason to suppose that the change in the relative market price of gold and silver has been due in part to the decline in the supply of silver, in proportion to the demand, as well as to the augmentation of the supply of gold. In a recent letter of Mr. Gouge to Mr. Hunter, Chairman of the Financial Committee of the Senate of the United States, abjecting to the proposed reduction of the amount of silver in half-dollars, the idea that the change in relative value is in part due to the enhancement of silver, does not seem to have been considered. He urges that the proposed change in the quantity of pure silver in the half dollar coinage, must tend to change or debase the standard of our currency. Had not that standard been already lowered relatively to silver by the indux of gold froin California, and the price of mercury, and other causes making the extrication of silver more costly or disadvantageous, Mr. Gouge's allegations might be true. But the degradation has taken place. Gold, relatively to its former value, has fallen; silver has risen.

Agreeably to Mr. Gouge's just impressions, when a cheaper metal is circulated at the same nominal value, the dearer disappears ; under these circumstances gold has become the standard, being a legal tender at its former weight. The reasons assigned by Mr. Gouge would induce a wish that, instead of lowering the weight of our silver coin, that of the gold could be raised by using as much more of that metal as will compensate the decline in price. But as an obstacle to this, we have the practical necessity of calling in all of the present gold coinage, because the more valuable coin would be hoarded, or selected for hoarding, for exportation, or manufacturing, so that it could not be got into circulation. Moreover, as our gold coin is no less a legal tender than our silver half-dollars, I do not understand how a creditor, in receiving payment in half dollars, of which two will be equal to one gold dollar, will be placed in a situation less advantageous than if they were not introduced into circulation ; since, in the absence of the silver, he would be paid only in equally depreciated gold.

• I was well informed that a mine, which yielded two million of dollars annually, was abandoned In consequence of the caving in of the earth so as to require about two millions to put it into working order. An effort was maade, nt without great encouragement, to obtain in this country the capital requisite to restore in wine to a state of productiveness. A succeeding money pressure put an end to the pr-joci. VOL. XXVII.-NO. 1.


Unless equalization be effected by lessening the amount of silver in the half-dollar coinage, or augmenting it in that of the gold dollars, or altering both so as to bring them to meet half way, the two coins cannot both remain in circulation. An enhancement in relative value bas driven the silver from the field, and will of course, a fortiori, so long as it endures, prevent it from recovering the participation which it enjoyed.

Doubtless, were it not for the cost of recoinage, it would be better to increase the weight of gold representing a dollar, and to diminish that of the silver in the dollars of that metal; but this would be expensive. Therefore, I would suggest that, while the diminution of silver in the half-dollar coin shall be carried out, Mr. Gouge's objections notwithstanding, that a coinage of gold pieces of fifty, one hundred, and five hundred dollars should be resorted to, holding as much more gold as may bring them to a mean standard between the existing gold and silver coinage.

This would cause half the difference of value arising from the deviation to fall on the payer, and half on the receiver of the gold. Coin of all the larger sizes would serve only to be hoarded or exported, since no one wanting gold as cash would wish to exchange the smaller pieces, however lighter in proportion to nominal value, for the larger pieces.

The ability to change the smaller coin for the larger, would cause the latter, in an ordinary state of things, to be as valuable as if they were to be of the same standard.

Where strict reference to standard value should be required, resort to the scale-beam would put it in the power of those concerned to compensate for the difference between the nominal value and standard value. Placing one of a large coin in one scale, and its nominal equivalent in smaller pieces in the other, it were easy to see how much its nominal equivalent should be below the standard equivalent. Of course a weight made to balance a coin accurately would serve in its place.

One obvious advantage of the proposed arrangement would be that our smaller coin would be less in demand for exportation. We should not coin money for foreign crucibles. It may be conceived that ingots would serve as well as coin for the larger pieces, but the process of coinage affords a greater security for uniformity in dimensions than any other, and is, upon the whole, as I suppose, about as cheap a mode of attaining the object as any which can be devised.

The practicability of having a coin of standard weight issued by the government, exchangeable for smaller pieces, representing fractions of its value, which have notoriously less silver than they ought to have in order to justify and sustain their nominal value, is manifest from the commutability of silver halves at the present time (which have not perceptibly diminished in weight by rubbing) for smooth quarters, eighths, and sixteenths of a dollar, which are notoriously below the standard.

In fact, the currency of the small pieces would be sustained in a way analogous to that of bank-notes, with this difference, that only a fraction of the value would be confided to the faithfulness of the issuer.

I am of opinion that for the smaller change, metallic tokens, wholly dependent on commutability for value, would answer every purpose of gold or silver coin, without being liable to be carried off to pay a balance of trade arising from a famine, as in Great Britain in 1848, or in this country, by the fall of the price of cotton, as in 1837.

It would seem as if only one side of the question was stated as respects

the expediency of coining our golden dollars. I have found that the greater size and weight of the silver half-dollars is an inconvenience so much greater than that of the opposite attributes of the golden dollar, that while I can get gold dollars I shall never carry silver halves excepting for change. In order to obviate the greater liability for loss, it is only requisite to have suitable arrangements so as to keep the gold apart from the silver change. That to which I have resorted is an interior purse of leather within another of the same material. This affords three cavities, the middle one for gold, one of the two remaining for larger, the other for smaller silver. The orifice of the inner purse, as well as that of the outer is furnished with a steel clasp, such as is used in common leather or steel purses.

Housekeepers find the gold dollars a great convenience. To travelers they are desirable, because a good supply prevents the necessity of taking as change those small notes with which they are unacquainted. L. H.


POINTS DECIDED IN ENGLISH COURTS. CARRIERS-LIABILITY OF RAILWAY COMPANY-SPECIAL CONTRACT. In the Court of Queen's Bench. Appeals from County Court.—Sittings in Banc after Michaelmas Term, November 26, 1851. Chippendale vs. the Lancashire and Yorkshire

Railroad Company, The plaintiff placed several heifers on a track of a railway company, to be conveyed by them from W. to B. The plaintiff paid for their carriage, and received a ticket with the following memorandum subscribed : “ This tieket is issued subject to the owner taking all risks of conveyance whatever, as the company will not be responsible for any injury or damage, however caused, occurring to live stock of any description traveling upon the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, or in their vehicles." Owing to the defective construction of the truck, three heifers escaped; two were killed, and the other was injured. The plaintiff sued the railway company in a county court for the value of the three heifers, and the judge directed the jury to find a verdict for the defendants :-Held on appeal, (affirming the judgment below,) that the ticket constituted a special contract, which absolved the defendants from liability for the injury to the heifers.

FRAUD-EVIDENCE-POST-DATED CHECK-In the British Court of Exchequer. Appeal from County Court, December 1, 1851. Watson vs. Poulson.

Tf a man tells an untruth, knowing it to be such, in order to induce another to alter his condition, who does accordingly alter it, and thereby sustains damage, the party making the false statement is liable in an action for deceit, al. though ia making the false representation no fraud or injury was intended by him.

A post-dated check on a bank is not absolutely void: if paid without knowl edge of the false date the payment is good: and though not admissable in evidence to prove a contract, may be used to show fraud.

In Court of Common Pleas. Trinity Term, May 30, 1851. Stainbank et ah, ds. Fenning.

SHIP-HYPOTKECATION-POWERS OF THE MASTER-INSURABLE INTEREST. 1. The master of a ship borrowed money of the plaintiffs for repairs, and gave them, by way of security, bills drawn by him upon the owner of the ship and upon the consignee of the cargo, and also an instrument of hypothecation, by which he took upon himself and his owner the risk of the voyage, made the money repayable at all events, and the ship subject to seizure, and to process of the Admiralty Courts at any place, should the bills be not accepted or paid, the plaintiffs forbearing all interest beyond the amount necessary to insure the ship to cover their advances :-Held, that a Court of Admiralty would not enforce this instrument; and, therefore, that the plaintiffs took no interest in the ship.

2. The master has no authority to hypothecate the ship to secure advances for repairs, unless repayment is made to depend on the arrival of the ship.

DESTRUCTION OF GOODS BY BLOWING THEM UP, In the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey. On error to the Supreme Court, November Term, 1851. The American Print Works vs. Lawrence; Hale vs. same.

In Trespass against the Mayor of New York for destroying goods by blowing them up, the defendant pleaded :- 1. A statute of the State of New York imposing the duty upon the Mayor of New York, in order to stop the progress of any conflagration, with the concurrence of two Aldermen, to direct any buildings likely to take fire and convey fire to others, to be pulled down and destroyed. That the defendant, as Mayor, acting under such advice and concurrence, did destroy certain buildings for that purpose which were peculiarly exposed to the fire, and but for his action would have been immediately burned up with their contents, and would have communicated the flames to adjoining buildings unless instantly demolished. That the immediate destruction of these buildings was necessary, without waiting to remove the goods, in order to prevent the spread of the conflagration, &c., whereupon the defendant says he did necessarily and unavoidably blow up and destroy certain goods in plaintiffs' declaration mentioned, &c. :-Held to be a good plea.

2. The statute, under which the buildings were destroyed, being a constitutional and valid law, and the act by which they were destroyed being a lawful act, the defendant, as a public officer, was not liable personally for the necessary and unavoidable consequences of such act.

3. The defendant, secondly, set up a justification arising out of the common law doctrine of necessity. That to prevent the spread of the conflagration and the destruction of a large portion of the city, the immediat lestruction of the buildings was necessary, without waiting to remove the goods therein: and that for this purpose the defendant, a resident citizen, &c., caused the said buildings to be blown up, and did thereby necessarily and unavoidably destroy the goods, &c.:-Held a good plea.

4. In order to justify the destruction of property under the plea of necessity, in order to prevent the spread of a conflagration, it is not necessary to show any individual or personal interest in the defendant in the property at stake.

5. The common law doctrine of necessity considered.

6. The exposition of the statutes of any State, by the courts of that State, ought to be regarded as of binding authority in the construction of such statutes by courts of other States.

[ocr errors]

In the Supreme Court of the United States, December Term, 1851.

AARON B. COOLEY, plaintiff in error,
The Board of Wardens of the port of Phila-

In error to the Supreme Court

of Pennsylvania, for the delphia, to the use of the Society for the

Eastern District.
Relief of Distressed Pilots, their Widows
and Children.
Mr. Justice Curtis delivered the opinion of the Court.

These cases are brought here by writs of error to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

They are actions to recover half-pilotage fees under the 29th section of the act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, passed on the second day of March, 1803. The plaintiff in error alleges that the highest court of the State has decided

« ПретходнаНастави »